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Demonstrates the practicality of steam-driven automobiles, airplanes and trains.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Besler Corporation
Sponsor: Besler Corporation
Audio/Visual: Si, B&W
Keywords: Transportation: Steam
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Steam Problems
Jow is right about water freezing, but there is more to the problems with steam than just that. By the way, I would like to point out that electrical power plants and many ships still use the steam turbine as their power source. Obviously, a steam-powered automobile in a cold climate would be a freezing problem. You could always drain off the water and refill the boiler when you're ready to use the car again, but that's a lot of trouble and discomfort in freezing weather that people wouldn't put up with, compared to an internal-combustion-powered car with antifreeze in the radiator. Steam locomotives were all we had until some time in the Fifties or Sixties, I think. As locomotive manufacturers tried to build bigger and bigger locomotives, they ran into traction problems - really huge engines that were tried out had difficulties with the drive wheels slipping, and since steam locomotives were piston-powered, it was hard to apply steady power to the drive wheels. Power came in spurts, as is the case with pistons, and so there was a practical limit to how powerful a steam locomotive you could build. When the diesel-electric came along, with electric motors to power the drive wheels, avoiding slippage became easier. As for the steam-powered airplane, well, I rather suspect that it had a very limited range.
Subject: Lil piece of info
Unfortunately you're all overlooking one small problem with steam that Doble voiced back in the day. Steam is water and water (when winter comes) freezes. Thats really the only reason we don't use steam vehicles nowadays. :(
Subject: Extremely Interesting
If stream driven vehicles had such possibilities as shown in the film, what happened? Was it squelched by the oil companies? Was it too expensive to be practical?
Subject: Coulda been, shoulda been
A pretty interesting promo film here of someone's dream of a better car.. See? They even had alternative energy vehicles back in the 30's! I am not too sure how far Besler went with these, (preliminary lookups on the internet states that it didn't go much beyond trials) but these vehicles, a car, plane, bus and plane, sure LOOKED like they could run.. so who knows what happened.. Perhaps the prototype exceeded the actual cost of making these?
Mark Needham -
Subject: To each his own
Christine Hennig has written a review for some thing which she has no love for. Obviously prefers "Battery operated" thingys.
Sorry possum, keep your "barbie doll" ideas to yourself.
History, or Historical items are there for you to realise that some one "thought, designed, developed,built and improved upon" a concept that they had the fortitude and "manna" to produce.
And yes Superchargers were around in the 1920's, and yes.! Steam trains have been recorded doing 100mph in the early 1900's, and 100 years later with all our computers and "Female input" we aren't traveling, much faster.
Pray tell, Christine Hennig, what is your claim to fame that you can dismiss such, Worldly wonders to the "Ho Hum" Geee Whiz, realm of "Must have been exciting then"
Get real, get a life, and appreciate all of mankinds WONDERS...
Yes, we all do not wish to be in a Telephone box when someone FARTS, but you should be impressed by the Chemistry that is involved. That is the Magic of it.
Besler, Bloody well done..
All, have a look and enjoy..
Regards Mark N.
Christine Hennig -
Subject: The Latest Technological Marvel: Steam!
This early-30s film looks like it was probably an anachronism in its own time. ItÃÂÃÂs all about the wonders of that latest technological marvel, steam power. Not only that, itÃÂÃÂs a silent film, even though talkies had been around for several years by that point. The first part of the film is the most interesting, as we see a steam driven car that can go up to 85 miles per hour (wow!). ItÃÂÃÂs bizarre to see a car occasionally emit puffs of steam from its side like an old-fashioned locomotive. I bet that would have gone over real well on city streets. Then we get to see a steam-powered airplane, which I admit threw me for a loopÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂIÃÂÃÂd never heard of such a thing. But we see it flying, emitting puffs of steam all the while. Then it settles into its real subject matter, commuter trains, and then it gets dull. Still, thereÃÂÃÂs a pathetic wistfulness about this, as if it were an industrial film about improved buggy-whips. ItÃÂÃÂs as if the film is saying, ÃÂÃÂPlease, Mr. Diesel, steam is a wonderful thing. Please donÃÂÃÂt run over us with your technological juggernaut!ÃÂÃÂ Sad, really.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.